As you've probably heard, The White House has enacted new Cuba travel restrictions for Americans. One of these restrictions has officially ended the People to People travel category. But what does that mean for you? What is a "category of legal travel"? Can you still travel to Cuba as an American? Has Support for the Cuban People been affected? What if you've already booked a trip under the People to People category?
We'll answer all those questions and more below.
Every American traveler to Cuba is required to choose an approved category of travel. This is a US government requirement. These categories are self-reporting (read: an honor system), and the category you choose depends on how you're going to spend your time in Cuba. Before the June 2019 restrictions, there were 12 categories. Now, there are 11.
Here’s the full list of categories:
As you can see, People to People is no longer an option. However: this does NOT mean you can't travel to Cuba. In fact, it is still 100% legal for Americans to travel to Cuba under the Support for the Cuban People category.
Yes! If you planned your trip to Cuba under the People to People category before June 5, 2019, you are exempted from the new regulations and your plans will not be affected. See the current US government OFAC FAQ for more info.
Yes, absolutely! Your trip will fit into the Support for the Cuban People category if you:
Just make sure you keep your receipts for five years after your trip. Bring an envelope with you to collect them all as you go and then put it away with your important documents when you get home.
An itinerary for your trip is helpful, but not required. If you have an itinerary it will be much easier to make sure you’ve filled a full-time schedule with appropriate activities. And even more importantly, if you’re ever questioned about your trip, you’ll be able to hand over a copy of your itinerary to help things go smoothly.
A ViaHero itinerary will cover your whole trip and show you which activities on it qualify as Support for the Cuban People. Get started.
Some example activities from OFAC include:
If you'd like any help planning your trip, a local expert in Cuba can plan out as much or as little of your trip as you'd like, all while helping to ensure that your itinerary complies with the Support for the Cuban People category. Find a local.
Buy a Cuban Tourist Card. This is a requirement of the Cuban government. People from most countries need one, not just American citizens. If you're traveling directly from the US, your card will be pink. If not, your card will be green. The simplest way to get your Cuban Tourist Card is to purchase it online in advance, but most airlines that fly to Cuba also offer Tourist Cards for sale. Call your airline for more information, ask a Cuba Hero, or check out this detailed guide to purchasing a Tourist Card.
For more on Cuba travel, check out our articles on: